Vultures Terrorize Community

Lynchburg, VA - Packs of vultures have picked West Princeton Circle, an area behind Randolph College in Lynchburg, as a roost. Some neighbors say they've seen the packs of birds fly back and forth.

Others, more directly affected say these birds are destroying the outside of their homes. Since they're a migrating bird, it's against the law to do anything to them. Experts say the only thing you can do is not let them get comfortable so they'll want to migrate somewhere else.

"I saw a large group of vultures this morning, I didn't think too much of it. We have a lot of wild animals around here so I just figured it was something to do with that," said Justin Timmerman who lives off of West Princeton.

That may have brought the hordes of vultures to the area but where they were heading?

West Princeton Circle, to land on Michelle Ewing- Karega's roof. She says it started close to two weeks ago.

"We woke up to what sounded like dogs on the roof, cause they're so large," said Karega.

She says every morning between 7:30 and 9, hundreds of vultures swarm her and neighbor's homes.

"I counted 40 on this roof as well as the neighbor's roof and then again like 20 and 30 plus down, I can't stand down and count them all, there's literally hundreds of them," said Karega.

The vultures pull at trash, bite the shingles on the roof, destroyed her sons inflatable pool, and make a whole lot of noise, and they just won't go away.

"We've come out and we've clapped, made noise, sprayed them with water, they continue to come back," said Karega.

But that's exactly what they're supposed to be doing. The USDA's Wildlife Services Program says the key is to not let the vultures get comfortable.

It's perfectly legal to harass these birds, to disperse these birds," said Scott Barras.

State Director Scott Barras says they're creatures of habit. He says the birds pick an area to "thermalize" in the mornings-- or warm themselves. Then they fly off to look for food all day and return the next morning.

"It's just ridiculous how they're all out here and continuing to come out here and the numbers are just growing daily," said Karega.

Barras says if the community is persistent in dispersing them-- they will eventually leave.

" When you see this type of situation in a neighborhood setting, normally it takes an organized effort to move them completely out of the neighborhood," said Barras.

Barras said these birds are normally not aggressive but says small animals should be kept away from them. He also says they have set up a toll-free help-line for information in situations like this. You can call the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Hot-Line at 855-571-9003 - and you can learn more here.